Monday, January 30, 2012

Christmas In January

Last summer my good friend Penny brought her sister over to my studio/ check out the longarm. Melanie lives in Minnesota, and, like her sister, she's a talented quilter.  I was delighted when she sent three quilts for me to finish.  Melanie requested I use Quilters Dream Puff batting for one of the quilts.  Hmmmm....I buy my batting from Quilters Dream, but I had never used Dream Puff.  It sounded like a lot of fun, so I was glad to order some.

Let me tell you, it lives up to it's name.

Whenever I see beautiful Christmas quilts like this, I always vow to make one, but I never do.  

Think of how lovely this will look on Melanie's bed next holiday season!

 It was festive working on this lovely quilt.  I should have put on some Christmas music and fixed a cup of hot apple cider,  especially since the weather outside was frightful.  Like,  -21 degrees.


Penny picked a design she knew Melanie would love. It's called Holly Rose.  So pretty...

Here's the scoop on Quilters Dream Puff.

It's supposed to be 1 1/2 times warmer than down.  It's breathable and washable and won't shrink.  It sure felt good, really soft and dense.  I liked it.

A lot.

Here's my normal poly/cotton batting on the left.  Dream Puff on the right.

Such a lovely quilt!  The pattern is Log Cabin Hidden Star.

So pretty.  So puffy!  And, considering I live in Alaska, I've been wondering where this batting has been all my life!

The back is lovely.  The red thread looks great on the sage green back.

You can really see the puff factor on the last row.

I enjoyed working with the Dream Puff batting;  I ordered an extra piece to play with.  I want to see how warm it really is.  I don't think I'd combine this with a minky backing...I'm thinking that would be too hot. Flannel might be okay.

Sounds like I need to make another quilt so I have a reason to use the batting.

When the temp outside is -21, you just can't have too many quilts!
Happy quilting!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

To Each Her Own

I've decided to do a little something-something on this poor, neglected blog. There are a couple of reasons I've left it dormant for months.  First, it's really hard to get good pictures without natural light.  (Alaska is a little short on natural light in the winter.)  Second, I've been a little busy.  Okay, a lot busy.

And that's a good problem.

Waaaaay back in October I had the opportunity to go to the Machine Quilters Expo in Portland, Oregon. about overload.  It was inspiring to take classes from nationally known machine quilters.  It was also a tad intimidating to see how much there is to learn.  Fortunately the intimidation factor has turned into the motivation factor.

And that's a good thing.

One of the classes I took was taught by a very well known machine quilter who doesn't use a computer, she hand guides everything.  Her work is stunning and very traditional. But she was so not what I was expecting!  In a nutshell, she's a very personable, funny, likeable biker chick with amazing talent.

We were instructed to bring a quilt top to the class.  I brought one I had recently finished and was really pleased with.  At different times during the class she had us lay quilts on big tables so she could talk about our quilting options.  When she called for "anything nontraditional" I threw mine on the table.  She took one look at it and said, "Oh man! Who is making you quilt THAT?"

I think my lip may have quivered a bit.

I finally quilted the thing.

(Be sure to click on the pictures for a closer look.)

I had friends over to sew yesterday.  Poor things, I  tormented them by presenting every quilting option I had considered for my yucky quilt.

They were very patient.  They may even have said they liked it.

I found most of these fabrics in Portland. I think they look like a biker chick should really like them, don't you?  Kind of edgy.

 I really like the pop of blue.

Swirls are wonderful....

...even on the back.

I have to admit, I really, really love this quilt.  I think it's unusual, interesting and very fun.

And absolutely perfect for a Toyota chick. :)